As the weather turns colder, I am very thankful that so many arts, design and cultural opportunities have returned to the halls of AMPD and the York University Keele campus. Throughout the fall exhibits have rotated through our galleries, aspiring designers and artists queued up for national portfolio day in our studios, and the performing arts and student film festivals returned. You can read about many of these and prior events in our most recent annual report.

Amid this re-opening, I have had the chance to meet with some of our amazing students and alumni, some of whom are featured here. When I attend different arts and cultural events, it is always a pleasure to see AMPD and York University listed in the biographies of our alumni. Publicly listing affiliation with our School and York not only builds connections to current and past students, but also increases the attention and opportunities for all of our emerging graduates. I hope that you will join me in proudly identifying with the great programs in AMPD and York. As was recently highlighted in Maclean’s Magazine, our School is one of the areas that is internationally renowned at York. You — our faculty, alumni, students and staff — are the reason for this reputation and success.

Those of you outside the University community can also connect with our students by becoming a mentor through the “ Connecting YU” network. This new online network builds community and offers our students the benefit of your experience and knowledge. Thanks to everyone who has already signed up to mentor. For those who have not yet joined, signing up is easy and you can set the degree of involvement that fits your schedule as we connect a global network of artists, scholars, designers, creators and leaders across our disciplines.

And what amazing company to keep! In just the last few weeks, award-winning musician and current MA student, Sarah Slean, gloriously performed at our annual alumni awards event as did the Oscar Peterson Scholarship Trio, led by Prof. Mike Cadó. The accomplished designer, Deborah Lau-Yu continues to communicate through her elegant designs, while Corey Ross has literally immersed us in art. Across the city, Toronto theatres are led by Theatre@York alumni moving live arts back from the pandemic. Film and Media Arts students continue to define their industries and the future of entertainment for us all. Uniting these disciplines, we were honoured to recognize the music producer, philanthropist and OVO co-founder, Noah ‘40’ Shebib with an honorary doctorate for his many contributions and accomplishments in music and culture.

We are also delighted to celebrate the ground-breaking for the new Joan and Martin Goldfarb Gallery of York University. Located in the heart of AMPD and the Keele campus, the ceremony itself was accompanied by the delighted sounds of students moving through the nearby passageways. It was an excellent reminder that it is the students and the dynamic, bustling interactions among faculty members, students and staff who create a great University that is enriched and enlivened through its commitment to the arts.

Of course, challenges remain. The School of AMPD, its students, faculty and staff continue to work through the effects of the pandemic. We know that students who have experienced the worst of lockdowns and lack of arts access in secondary schools can find it more challenging to navigate the rigors of university arts programs. Our international students may experience these transitions even more intensely, especially when in the midst of global turmoil.

Thankfully, we have a dedicated community that continues to unite to support each other and all our students through these transitions. Contributions from supporters like you have created emergency scholarship funds to assist students in need and to enable a supportive peer network of students who are helping each other. Your contributions to AMPD go directly to our students through scholarships, equipment replacements, new experiential education opportunities and facility upgrades.

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm for the arts at York and I look forward to welcoming you to campus again soon.



Len MilleyAs we move ever closer to the end of another calendar year, it is a perfect opportunity to express our continued gratitude and appreciation to all of our AMPD supporters. Over the past year, we have been humbled by the support of our AMPD donors, certainly among them our Dean’s Circle members!

The Dean’s Circle is the name given to our group of monthly donors, which has – incredibly – doubled in members in the last 3 years alone! Monthly gifts to AMPD provide us with a predictable, stable source of revenue that we can depend on to help support new and innovative programs and projects. If you are interested in learning how an act of giving back – at any level – can make a genuine difference in the lives of our students visit the Dean’s Circle page.

We are also so excited to invite you to join our brand new platform and help build a thriving online AMPD community, past and present, as part of Connecting YU. The private and advertising-free platform is designed for and by the AMPD community. On Connecting YU, you can seek or offer mentoring support to current AMPD students or other alumni, seek out industry peers to build your network, keep up to date on AMPD events and more.

Click here to join, and stay in touch with other alumni, current students, faculty and friends! we can’t wait to see you in the AMPD group on Connecting YU!

As always, our most sincere thanks for your support. If you have any questions about giving to AMPD, please contact Len Milley at or 647-285-5712.

York University and the Art Gallery of York University are celebrating the official groundbreaking for the new Joan and Martin Goldfarb Gallery of York University (GGYU)

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Join the AMPD Dean’s Circle

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OVO’s Noah “40” Shebib offers a message to AMPD grads about the power of hard work

Noah Shebib offers a message to grads about the power of hard work Actor, cultural leader, multiple Grammy Award-winning music producer and philanthropist, Noah “40” Shebib, was at York University …

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November 29, 2022

Corey Ross brings van Gogh to life with immersive exhibitions

When Corey Ross (BA ’95, MBA ’00) was an undergrad, he bought a reproduction of Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night at York University’s annual poster sale. Now van Gogh …

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November 29, 2022

Canadian recording star Sarah Slean prepares at AMPD for tribute concert series

Canadian recording star Sarah Slean is back as a student at York, polishing her composition skills while preparing to tour the country with a series of Joni Mitchell tribute concerts …

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November 29, 2022

Deirdre Kelly talks the analogue revolution

When everyone got bored of staring at their screens during the lockdowns, an arts and crafts revival movement took hold – a rebellious reaction to the dominance of the digital …

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November 28, 2022

Theatre @ York gracefully tackles bespoke David Yee play “Love in the Time of Werewolves”

Theatre @ York returns to the traditional way of theatre-making with playwright David Yee’s new play, Love in the Time of Werewolves. Maggie Basset Award-winning director Diana Belshaw led 30 …

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November 25, 2022

140 high school students visit AMPD for a day of musical exploration with Music alumni homecoming

Professor Karen Burke leading participants in the “Gospel Music is Whole-Body Singing” workshop accompanied by Corey Butler. On November 22, AMPD Music welcomed 140 high school students to campus for …

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November 16, 2022

Embodying climate change: Dance Innovations 2022 showcases inspiring new student work

Dance Innovations 2022: Escalate featured new choreographic works by 23 fourth-year dance BFA students. Performed by students in all years of York’s undergraduate program in dance, this series engages with social …

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November 3, 2022

Alum Michelle Peraza wins 2022 Petry Award  

Nancy Petry Foundation and the Joe Plaskett Foundation announced AMPD alum Michelle Peraza (MFA 2022) as the recipient of the 2022 Petry Award. The award recognizes Peraza as an outstanding …

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October 6, 2022

Over 200 film lovers gather for CineSiege 2022

In its 20th year, 200 community members and film lovers celebrated cinema in-person at Paradise Theatre on October 24, 2022 with CineSiege 2022. The event featured a juried selection of shorts …

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September 9, 2022

Over 25 AMPD community members dazzle at TIFF

Over 25 AMPD community members premiered pieces at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). From Lina Rodriguez’s (MFA’ 20) sensitive and subtle return to the screen to Antoine Bourges’ (MFA’ 18) portrait of Toronto’s …

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September 2, 2022

AMPD alumni, students, faculty receive over 20 Dora award nominations

Over 20 AMPD community members were named nominees by Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) at the 42nd Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards nomination ceremony on August 29, 2022. …

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August 22, 2022

AMPD students join award-winning Fae Pictures’ newest production at York Motion Media Studios at Cinespace Studio

AMPD students join award-winning Fae Pictures’ newest production at York Motion Media Studios at Cinespace Studio Five AMPD students will be working on-set with Fae Pictures’ newest feature film, Queen …

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August 15, 2022

Vania Lizbeth Chan joins Vancouver Playhouse’s CHINATOWN

AMPD alum Vania Lizbeth Chan (BFA, PhD) joined the Vancouver Playhouse’s CHINATOWN,  with libretto by Madeleine Thien, music by AlicePing Yee Ho, and Hoisan translation by Paul Yee. CHINATOWN examines …

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Celebrating Christina: Christina Petrowska Quilico in Recital

For over 35 years, world-renowned pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico has been instrumental in developing future generations of music industry changemakers at the York University School of Arts, Music, Performance and …

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November 3, 2022

AMPD and the Allan I. Carswell Observatory welcome attendees of all ages to their Halloween Astronomy Extravaganza 

It was an evening of fright-filled, inspirational and educational in equal parts. The Halloween Astronomy Extravaganza comprised of two ticketed events, the first – Herschel 200th Anniversary: Astronomy, Music, Extraterrestrials …

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October 31, 2022

Eric Armstrong and York faculty create Open Educational Resources, advancing UN SDGs

Faculty develop innovative Open Educational Resources (OER) that are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and reveal the positive impact on teaching and learning. Faculty members who are …

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October 26, 2022

The Inaugural York University Game Jam addresses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

On November 4 to 6, the first-ever York University Game Jam offered students the opportunity to conceptualize, design, and build a functioning game as a team.  Participants created a game …

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AMPD celebrates a ‘Year of the Arts’

From September 2022 to May 2023, the York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) will host a Year of the Arts to celebrate the power of …

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November 24, 2022

Philippine consulate general in Toronto and York University sign deed of donation to implement a Philippine studies program

The Philippine Consulate General in Toronto and York University signed a Deed of Donation to implement a Philippine Studies Program. The Philippine Government will donate around $116,000.00 to York University …

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November 11, 2022

Prof. Ali Kazimi’s documentary explores little-known struggle of the Sinixt people

Twenty-seven years in the making, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design Film Professor Ali Kazimi’s documentary about an autonomous Indigenous people’s struggle to overturn their legal extinction is set …

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November 7, 2022

Prof. Christina Petrowska Quilico named 2021 Order of Ontario appointee

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Chancellor of the Order of Ontario, announced AMPD Professor of Musicology and Piano and world-renowned pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico’s appointment to …

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October 27, 2022

CERLAC Resource Centre hosts ‘Black and Women’s Voices’ digital collection

A sample of documents that represent “Black and Women’s Voices” is now available in digitized format from the Resource Centre collections of York’s Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean …

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October 24, 2022

How “Groundworks” re-stories land through creative reclamation 

“Groundworks”, produced by AMPD Professor Ian Garrett with Toasterlab for Vision Maker Media, follows four California Native dance professionals as they create “Groundworks”, a dance performance on Alcatraz Island for …

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October 20, 2022

York-led symposium explores Indigenous media art archives

A two-day symposium featuring York University scholars and artists brought together Indigenous artists, film and media specialists, archivists, curators, Knowledge Keepers, Elders, memory workers and scholars from across Canada to …

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October 14, 2022

Research supports development of inclusive technologies to enhance quality of living

York design Professor Shital Desai combines her expertise in robotics with product design to create innovative solutions that are both inclusive and inspired. Shital Desai combines her industry experience in robotics engineering and …

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September 26, 2022

York U hosts Ontario’s only in-person National Portfolio Day event following two-year hiatus

Emerging artists and designers have an exceptional opportunity to meet experts from institutions around the world and receive feedback  On October 1, representatives from some of the world’s leading post-secondary …

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September 23, 2022

Nuit Blanche + RUTAS Symposium: A Home for Our Migrations

Nuit Blanche + RUTAS Symposium: A Home for Our Migrations gathers over 60 cultural leaders who will engage with lively dialogues on transnational artistic practices, and artworks responding to growing …

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September 16, 2022

 Toronto’s premiere international dance festival and AMPD explore post-pandemic dance evolution 

The York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD) is delighted to be partnering with Toronto’s premiere international dance festival, Fall for Dance North (FFDN), for a …

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September 10, 2022

Shital Desai named York Research Chair in Accessible Interaction Design

Eight researchers across York University will join the York Research Chairs (YRC) program – the University’s internal counterpart to the national Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program which recognizes outstanding researchers. …

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August 11, 2022

Patrick Alcedo recognized with Top 25 Canadian Immigrant award

Chair Patrick Alcedo has been named one of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of 2022. Alcedo was selected from a list of 75 finalists nominated by the Canadian public for …

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